Iceland, the land of fantasy and dreams, is one of the first places that come to mind whenever you think of an adventurous life. Nowadays, Iceland has become one of the most famous locations on Earth that tourists prefer. It has become a must for travel enthusiasts to breathe the fresh and clear air of Iceland at least once in their lives. It is not only the most suitable place for an adventurer but also one of the most beloved places of people who want to experience a bit of a change in scenery.
Iceland is filled with some of the most breath-taking sights and visuals from all around the world. There are several active volcanoes that, if you are lucky enough, may choose to go boom (in a safe way) while you are around. There are hot springs of clear water that offer an excellent comfort sport in the freezing winter temperatures. There are majestic glaciers that can be observed both during their collapse and, if you decide to stick around for a year or so, during the steady process in which they slowly form and gain new layers of ice, one by one. Also, in many places, these glaciers begin to line and form a vast landscape, called an ice field.
In 1963, due to the seismic activity and volcanic eruptions of over a hundred years, a new island, Surtsey, emerged from the south of the sea. The people of Iceland have used this island to their advantage and kept their houses warm using the geothermal energy. This has made sure that the air in the atmosphere is always clean and fresh and that the land and water remains pure and crystal clear. Hence, you may find yourself tempted to fly to Iceland and observe its wonders by using your own senses.
If you want to explore on your own, you can get a rental and take a ride along the Ring Road, which goes in a complete circle around Iceland. This may take you anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. However, it’s recommended to stick with a local guide on your tour as they can help you access some of the more difficult-to-reach places, including lava fields, northern lights, and hidden waterfalls, places that justify Iceland as a place of ice and fire. From regions where the sun doesn’t set for over three months to where the temperature can drop as low as 22 °F, Iceland Is full of contrasting themes.
Hence, if you are ever in the mood to go to the Nordic islands, be sure to check out our list below of the top 5 places to visit in Iceland.
In the northeast of Iceland, sketched into the vast, rocky plain as if by an artist, there lies the ancient Asbyrgi canyon that has marveled people in Iceland for centuries. When viewed from a distance, the canyon appears to be in the shape of a horseshoe, which has given it the term horseshoe-depression. The canyon extends for more than 2 miles and is wider than half a mile on average. At its highest point, it is almost 100 meters high.
According to geological data, the canyon was formed almost 10, 000 years ago, due to major glacial flooding that occurred within an ancient river at the time. However, if you go by the local legend, you’ll know that its actual name is Sleipnir’s footprint. It is said that Odin’s eight-legged horse once touched one of its feet on the ground, which resulted in the giant horseshoe-shaped depression.
The cliffs bordering the depression are tallest from the very center, giving an excellent view for aesthetic photography and dramatic angles. The valley itself is very beautiful as it is filled with willow, meadows, and pine. There are also hiking trails that include semi-rivers and an intensely pleasing environment.
The Blue Lagoon
Besides its famous natural hiking or camping spots, Iceland is also famous for its geothermal spas. Among these, perhaps the most famous and attractive is the Blue Lagoon. The water here has a unique coloration, milky brown, and is mostly opaque. There are said to be various benefits of constantly swimming in the spa. The shimmering of the spa is actually due to the diverse minerals in it, and good bacteria.
Combined with silica mud masks, the water of the Blue Lagoon helps keep your external health in a perfect state and provides mental relaxation. Visitors can also get to enjoy rare in-water body massages that use specific minerals and algae to provide natural beauty to the skin.
Vatnajokull National Park
Located in the south of Iceland, Vatnajokull is a huge mixture of glaciers and ice caves. The park encompasses a region of more than 5, 000 square miles. It is filled with a great variety of jaw-dropping features, including large waterfalls and meadows with hypnotic aromas.
Mostly, though, the place is famed for its apparently endlessly vast and fantastical ice structures and glacial lakes. Enchanting blue light fills the interior of these caves after rainfall. It is one of the most iconic places in Iceland that is perfect for a long-term camping spot surrounded by natural phenomena.
Myrdalsjokull Glacier Park
If you are looking for a place that resembles the Antarctic regions but isn’t as cold and much more pleasant, Myrdalsjokull Glacier Park is the place to go. For most of the year, the vast landscape that extends for hundreds of miles is caked in ice and snow. Also, for most of the year, it rains heavily with dark clouds on the horizon and a chillingly inviting weather.
The park is also full of cone-shaped volcanoes that give the whole environment an otherworldly significance. The sky is filled with rainbows due to the wet atmosphere, and the snow-packed ground is carved with rocky peaks that poke their heads out at unexpected places. Given its size and complexity, it’s usually advisable to travel with a professional guide and an umbrella in hand whenever deciding to venture deep into the landscape.
On the northwest side of Iceland, lies a rocky peninsula covering an area of almost 9, 000 square miles. The place is what you would imagine an ideal combination of the riverside and never-ending high cliffs to look like. It is undoubtedly one of the most startling places in Iceland. It is sometimes also referred to as the fjords heaven. Like with most of Iceland, the Westfjords is mostly packed with snow for several months of the year.
Some of the most remarkable spots like the Hornstrandir reserve can be found here. The Hornstrandir reserve is home to white, Arctic foxes and giant seal pods, and the Latrabjarg. It is Europe’s westernmost point crowded with millions of different kinds of birds and the largest bird cliff in Europe. There is also the wonderful town of Isafjordur, clinging to a spit of sand near the fjords. Activities like kayaking and cliff walking are sure to keep your blood running, making certain that your trip feels as adventurous and epic as the landscape around you.